Floodplain Administration

Floodplain lightning photo

Fred Wasmer Photography






Tucson Floodplain Management Plan Update and Stormwater Workshop

Floodplain Management Plan Meeting
August 8, 2023

Stormwater Workshop 
August 8, 2023


Flood Insurance Meetings 

June 1, 2023 Meeting
June 7, 2023 Meeting


Watershed Project Status
Alamo Existing Conditions & Alternatives, and Final Reports completed by Pima County Regional Flood Control District. Floodplain map revisions (LOMR) in effect as of March 15, 2021. Mayor & Council adopted this watershed management plan in 2021. FEMA grant funding is being considered for one or more identified project alternatives.
Arroyo Chico Downtown Links drainage infrastructure currently under construction with project completion expected March 2023 and includes large storm drains in Broadway Bl. Flood map updates will be completed after the record drawings are completed by the City, and Pima County Flood Control District submits documentation to FEMA for approval. Tucson Arroyo - Arroyo Chico Phase 2B Increment has been discontinued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Atterbury Watershed development & drainage planning is being coordinated for the upper watershed and State land area.
Christmas Feasibility study for potential projects including stormdrain capacity in this watershed is being finalized using FEMA grant funding, and neighborhood input for associated green infrastructure. El Con detention project is still identified as a key project. El Con detention is being looked at by PCRFCD.
El Vado Neighborhood park / drainage improvements are being planned.
Flowing Wells Pima County Regional Flood Control District is studying Flowing Wells Wash, Wilson Wash, Navajo Wash, as well as Bronx Wash with West University Watersheds on behalf of the City of Tucson.
Julian Tucson Airport Authority detention is being planned; Pima County Regional Flood Control is assisting the Airport Authority.
Rodeo Funding is being sought for an erosion protection and safety improvement for Pennsylvania Dr and Lundy Av dip crossing. Funding is needed for future wash crossing considerations at 16thAv.
Ruthrauff One of the approved alternative projects from the Ruthrauff Basin Management Plan (approved by Mayor & Council Oct. 24, 2017) is underway near the Gardner Lane area.
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz River Management Plan (from Santa Cruz County to Pinal County) update: Alternatives Report and Technical Data have been completed by Pima County Regional Flood Control District, project includes post sediment removal assessment from Grant Rd to Avra Valley Rd. Lower Santa Cruz River master planning project also underway. Floodwall for TEP substation feasibility study including archeological study is being completed by FEMA, through a grant.
Silvercroft Silvercroft Watershed is being assessed for the Lower Santa Cruz master plan (by Pima County Regional Flood Control District). The El Rio Golf Flood Mitigation Project - detention facilities are complete. Phase 2 to begin next year. Additional improvement projects are being considered and a study is planned for the downstream locations.
Prop 407 (City-wide) Various drainage improvements being incorporated into park development projects.


City of Tucson Floodplain Board Updates

City of Tucson Mayor and Council (Floodplain Board) adopted the Tucson Floodplain Management Plan 2020 Update, Floodplain Ordinance Revisions, and new Tucson Levee Manual on December 8, 2020. The City has also adopted the revised detention and retention manual (effective date: June 1, 2021). In 2022, a variance was granted by Tucson Flood Board (Tucson Mayor & Council) for erosion hazard setback reduction for the Cottonwood TEP Substation project on the Santa Cruz River. The current City of Tucson Floodplain Ordinance became effective January 8, 2021.

Changes to the Floodplain Ordinance include:

  • "Critical facility" definition was updated to include new regulatory language as to the minimum elevation and access requirements for new or substantially improved requirements. The purpose of the update is to apply a more stringent requirement to the construction of these facilities.
  • "Repetitive Loss Property" definition was added to the ordinance based on guidance from the National Flood Insurance Program and to increase opportunity for certain flood-loss claim benefits for City of Tucson property owners.
  • Development requirement clarifications for placement and elevation of a building’s service equipment in relation to the regulatory flood elevation.
  • The minimum setback to the listed regional watercourses was updated based on currently FEMA published and approved flood data. The option to reduce the stated erosion hazard setbacks for corresponding regional watercourse can now only be processed through the variance procedure. The purpose of this requirement is to apply a higher level of scrutiny to new development where there is no, or insufficient, existing bank protection, and where no bank improvements are proposed.

Flood & Erosion Hazard Management Documents

Flood & Erosion Hazard Information – related links:

* * Flood & Erosion Hazard Protection Information / How to Reduce Risk(PDF, 92KB) * *

2020 Floodplain Management Plan (Update to 2016 FMP)(PDF, 2MB)

City of Tucson General Floodplain Information (including Flood Status(PDF, 84KB) )

City of Tucson Operation Freeze

City of Tucson Operation Splash - Including Sandbag Program

Protecting traveling public on City streets during Tucson’s summer thunderstorm season(PDF, 6MB)

National Flood Insurance Program – FloodSmart.gov

Rain Gauge and Stream Stage Data (county flood control precipitation & streamflow website)

Sign-up for Flood Emergency Alerts

Tucson Property Research Online (for researching Construction / Elevation Certificates)

National Flood Insurance Program

FEMA Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

Tucson Flood or Erosion Questions?


Last updated: May 2022